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Why I Joined the Social Democratic League

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Why I Joined the Social Democratic League


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Why I Joined the Social Democratic League
by Allan L. Benson
Published in The New Appeal, whole no. 1,183 (Aug. 3, 1918), pg. 1.

Now in the position of staff writer on the de facto official organ of the pro-war Social Democratic League of America, former Socialist Presidential candidate Allen Benson restates the reasons for his change of heart. Citing the German Kaiser's hatred of socialism, Benson asserts"I want this war to end in such a manner that a Socialist government when established can exist." A German victory, in his view, would establish a new global regime that would render socialism an impossibility for 500 or 1,000 years.
Moreover the "unutterable hatred of anything and everything in this country at this time that is mild to Germany and harsh to America" makes it imperative to burn bridges to the party of anti-imperialist war opponents Morris Hillquit and Victor Berger. This catering to public opinion was shared by his intellectual peers, Benson notes, declaring "of all the writers who once urged the cause of the Socialist Party and reckoned millions [of readers], not one remains."
Benson cites the parallel legacy of Eugene Debs leaving the ranks of the Socialist Labor Party when it was "well adapted to the propagation of Socialism," forgetting that Debs was never a member of the aforementioned organization. Socialist sentiment "covers the land as the sunshine mantles the earth," Benson indicates, and he states that if he and his co-thinkers "have not the wit to organize it, others will do so."

Published in the USA prior to 1923, public domain.
Edited with footnotes by Tim Davenport. Published by 1000 Flowers Publishing, Corvallis, OR, June 2012.
Uploaded to Archive.org by Tim Davenport on June 19, 2012.


Language English
Collection folkscanomy_politics; folkscanomy; additional_collections

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